Mojgan Rabiey is one of our ’40 Faces of Plant Pathology’
BSPP members can be found in 51 different countries, with 30% of members based in countries outside of the UK. As part of the BSPPs 40th anniversary, we asked our membership to describe some things about themselves, what plant pathology challenges they would most like to see solved, and what could improve the world of plant pathology in terms of inclusivity. Click here to return to 40 Faces Home Page.
Institution and country of residence
University of Birmingham, United Kingdom
Senior Postdoctoral Fellow
Area of expertise/study
My primary research interest is to understand how beneficial microbes can be utilised as an alternative to antibiotics to control fungal and bacterial diseases in plants. My fascination with plant protection inspired my choice of research career, studying how seed and soil application of endophytes can protect wheat from fungal diseases. My postdoctoral career has since focussed on the biological control of plant diseases, in particular using bacteriophages to control bacterial canker of trees. I am also investigating how readily gene exchange mediated by phages occurs between Pseudomonas syringae strains. My research on biocontrol of bacterial diseases has sparked a deep interest in the coevolution of bacteriophages and bacterial host, to understand the evolutionary patterns between bacteriophages and bacteria. My long-term vision is to establish beneficial microorganisms as a mainstream treatment for pathogenic bacteria to overcome antibiotic resistance emergence.
About your early experiences in education
My motivation to study plant pathology and plant protection was through meeting many influential plant pathologist throughout my life. During my Master degree research project, my supervisor introduced me to the whole world of biological control of plant diseases and how microorganisms could be used to control plant diseases, which has become my passion to pursue.
If you could solve one problem in plant pathology, what would it be?
Stopping the spread of plant diseases and educating students at a young age about plant pathology.
If you could solve one issue relating to inclusivity and diversity within the field of plant pathology what would it be?
Employing more female plant pathologist as PIs in universities and narrowing the gender gap.
If you weren’t a plant pathologist, what would you be?
If I was not a plant pathologist, I would be a traveller, exploring the sights and culture of other countries.
If only nature loving and tree hugging was a job, that would be my other choice.